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March 15, 2006

Free 'Classic TV' Shows Now Available Online

Courtesy of TechWeb News

America Online Inc. and Warner Bros. on Wednesday launched In2TV an ad-supported site offering streaming video of classic TV shows, including "Welcome Back, Kotter," "Chico & The Man," and "Growing Pains."

In2TV, which the companies are calling a "broadband television network," also includes games, photo galleries and polls tied to the various shows, as well as video clips that people can email to others.

"In2TV is another important milestone in the evolution of video on the Web, and is one more way that we are making the best destination for video online," Kevin Conroy, executive vice president for AOL Media Networks, said in a statement.

Besides comedy shows, the site also offers TV dramas, cartoons, science fiction and horror, and adventure shows.

AOL and Warner Bros are subsidiaries of media conglomerate Time Warner Inc. The latest video offering for AOL marks the portal's focus on online video as a way to attract visitors.

Sites offering streaming video have seen a dramatic increase in traffic, according to market researcher Nielsen/NetRatings, but AOL has yet to break into the top five.

Microsoft Corp.'s MSN Video grew 44 percent in February over a year ago to lead the top 5 with 9.3 million unique visitors, according to Nielsen. YouTube and Google Video rose from relative obscurity a year ago to drawing 9 million and 6.2 million visitors, respectively.

IFilm and Yahoo Inc.'s video search rose 102 percent and 148 percent to 4.3 million and 3.8 million unique visitors, respectively.

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